There are more than three million hemorrhoid cases per year in the United States. Luckily hemorrhoids are treatable by a medical professional and require no lab testing because they are usually self-diagnosable. Unfortunately they are chronic and can last for years or be lifelong. A common symptom is discomfort, specifically during bowel movements or when sitting. Other symptoms include itching and bleeding.
Hemorrhoids are usually caused from:
- Standing or sitting for a long time
- Straining during bowel movements
- Holding your breath during physically hard activity
There are two kinds of hemorrhoids:
Internal hemorrhoids: occur in the lower rectum and they are typically painless.
External hemorrhoids: are uncomfortable because the overlying skin becomes irritated and erodes. If a blood clot forms inside an external hemorrhoid, pain can be quick and severe. You might feel or see a lump around the anus. The clot usually dissolves, leaving excess skin (a skin tag), which may itch or become irritated.
A high-fiber diet with over-the-counter medications, such as stool softeners, can be helpful. In some cases, a medical procedure, such as a hemorrhoidectomy or Hemorroid banding, to remove the hemorrhoid may be needed.
If you have any anal bleeding and/or pain, you should make an appointment with one of our board certified physicians to make sure it’s not a more serious condition.